Improving driving for running "hot"

This is a discussion on Improving driving for running "hot" within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm a new trooper and still in one on one training. My supervisor has noted my improving skills on pursuit driving and has no issues ...

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Thread: Improving driving for running "hot"

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    Member Array 9mm Lassiter's Avatar
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    Improving driving for running "hot"

    I'm a new trooper and still in one on one training. My supervisor has noted my improving skills on pursuit driving and has no issues with driving under normal conditions. It's still early on and I've only run "hot" to two incidents. While not terrible, there were times where I forgot to change siren tone in intersections and things like that or my radio traffic might get flustered. What techniques do some of you practice to improve these skills? Obviously experience will improve it but you don't want to learn from too many bad experiences when talking about driving. One thing I've tried to do is just take deep breaths at the beginning and almost wait a second or two. My supervisor says I do much better when I'm relaxed and I'm not tunnel visioned.

    Thoughts and input are appreciated. Thanks.
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    Time and experience usually solves these issues. I had a supervisor once in the Air Force who could not drive and talk on the radio at the same time. We spent a great deal of time on the side of the taxiway. He never got over it.

    Good luck in your new endevour. Be careful out there.
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    Part of this might be helped by improving your high speed vehicle handling skills in general. Contact your local division of the Sports Car Club of America and see if they are putting on any Autocross schools or on-track instructional days in which you might participate. When you become VERY comfortable with high-speed vehicle handling, it might make it easier for you to divide your attention while doing it.

    I'm not in law enforcement, so maybe this wouldn't help at all. I don't know. I just know that handling a vehicle at high speeds was extremely nerve wracking for me the first few times (with tunnel vision and everything!), but the more I got used to it, the more I could look around and see more things and talk to a driving coach about stuff while still going faster.

    Might be worth a look, anyway. We go to the range to practice shooting, and there's no real reason you can't also go practice driving outside of work in a legal venue for doing so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GraySkies View Post
    Part of this might be helped by improving your high speed vehicle handling skills in general. Contact your local division of the Sports Car Club of America and see if they are putting on any Autocross schools or on-track instructional days in which you might participate. When you become VERY comfortable with high-speed vehicle handling, it might make it easier for you to divide your attention while doing it.

    I'm not in law enforcement, so maybe this wouldn't help at all. I don't know. I just know that handling a vehicle at high speeds was extremely nerve wracking for me the first few times (with tunnel vision and everything!), but the more I got used to it, the more I could look around and see more things and talk to a driving coach about stuff while still going faster.

    Might be worth a look, anyway. We go to the range to practice shooting, and there's no real reason you can't also go practice driving outside of work in a legal venue for doing so.
    Good advice, I used to race gymkhanas many years ago in the sports car club I was in. This will not only give you some practice at speed it is done in a controlled environment just racing against the clock and the clock.
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    VIP Member Array Taurahe's Avatar
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    As an LEO in Savannah GA we ran code on a regular Basis, please allow me to share an oops. Driving a pool car, we were at lunch and got a burglary in progress / home invasion. We dropped 20's on the table and smoked some tires. Doing 50+ through a residential neighborhood, I had a driver panic in front of me and stop in the middle of the road. I was traveling too fast and ended up sliding past the car and throught the intersection. I continued on but learned a very valuable lesson. Skill comes with experience, experience comes with time. Even when responding code, drive to arrive alive. You have a job to do but becoming a fatality or injured party on makes the mess bigger. In short, dont drive over your abilities. If things are going too fast, its ok to slow down and let your brain catch up. The longer you make a mental effort to change siren pitch when approaching an intersection, the faster it will be habit. As far as the radio goes, just keep working on staying calm. If you talk fast or yell, you will be garbled and help may not know where to find you. I had the same problem and would have to force myself to slow down. I listened to myself and if I had to think about what I said then I slowed it down. And dont hot lip the Mic :) Be safe, shoot straight, shoot first.
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    Re: Improving driving for running "hot"

    You might want to check out www.policeone.com

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    Senior Member Array 031131's Avatar
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    Not an LEO but just wanted to say that I had no idea there were different tones when you all come through an intersection. As someone with awful hearing and common sense I'm surprised people can't figure it out with the flashing lights. I assume this is the reason for different tones? Which I assume that the vast majority of the public has no idea about as well.

    Anyway, practice makes perfect, the more you do it the sooner it will be stuck in your muscle memory just like everything else you practice. Don't dwell on it, you'll get it down pat soon enough.

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    While I can't speak specifically to your situation, I can relate some personal experience. When I first started flight training in the Air Force, rolling down the runway for takeoff was frantic. It wasn't too long before I was checking my watch, looking out the window, etc. waiting for rotate speed. We use to talk about "staying ahead of the aircraft", looking out ahead of you, thinking about what's coming up instead of only focusing on what's right in front of you.
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    Senior Member Array Cold Shot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blanco64 View Post
    While I can't speak specifically to your situation, I can relate some personal experience. When I first started flight training in the Air Force, rolling down the runway for takeoff was frantic. It wasn't too long before I was checking my watch, looking out the window, etc. waiting for rotate speed. We use to talk about "staying ahead of the aircraft", looking out ahead of you, thinking about what's coming up instead of only focusing on what's right in front of you.
    To piggyback off this, try "chairflying." This is where you just sit around your house and go through procedures, or even walk around while going through procedures. Get a buddy and throw scenarios at each other and literally go through everything you should be doing in the car. If you are constantly in a patrolling an area, talk about real streets and visualize real intersections. I have no idea what goes in to a car chase, but practice radio calls out loud as much as you can. Practicing vocalizing important calls is better than just studying "in your mind."

    Everybody is better at almost everything if they are relaxed. Be smooth.

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    On experience - it's what you really needed 5 min ago .

    One thing I've noticed across multiple disciplines is "dry" practice. We talk about it with guns. As an MSF instructor, we rode "chair" bikes - sat in the classroom, backwards in chairs, and went through mounting, dismounting, clutch, shifting, accelerating, countersteering, etc. I saw a show about the blue angels and they did the sarme thing - spent hours sitting in chairs, imaginary stick in their hands, going through entire routines over and over, w/o ever leaving the ground. With that in mind, wrt switching sirens for intersections, reach for the switch every time you approach an intersection, even when not running hot.

    Another lesson I've learned (from Keith Code) is to think of your attention as a $1 bill. As you learn a new skill (motorcycling/driving/high speed driving), you spend .90 on basic physical skills (clutch, turning, accel, decelerating, etc) and .10 on what's going on around you. As you gain experience through practice, you spend less and less on physical stuff and more on mental stuff. I'd go with high speed driving schools to speed the process of switching your major allotment from physical to mental skills while driving at high speed. Only way to improve is to do it. One of his other lessons was "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" - practice smooth, fast will come.
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